Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 2016 Issue »

    Restorying the Self

    Bending Toward Textual Justice

    EBONY ELIZABETH THOMAS AND AMY STORNAIUOLO
    In this essay, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas and Amy Stornaiuolo explore new trends in reader response for a digital age, particularly the phenomenon of bending texts using social media. They argue that bending is one form of restorying, a process by which people reshape narratives to represent a diversity of perspectives and experiences that are often missing or silenced in mainstream texts, media, and popular discourse. Building on Louise Rosenblatt’s influential transactional theory of reading, the authors theorize restorying as a participatory textual practice in which young people use new media tools to inscribe themselves into existence. The authors build on theorists from Mikhail Bakthin to Noliwe Rooks in order to illustrate tensions between individualistic “ideological becoming” and critical reader response as a means of protest. After discussing six forms of restorying, they focus on bending as one way youth make manifest their embodied, lived realities and identities, providing examples from sites of fan communities where participants are producing racebent fanwork based on popular children’s and young adult books, movies, comics, and other media. Situating these phenomena within a larger tradition of narrating the self into existence, the authors explore broader implications for literacy education.

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    Ebony Elizabeth Thomas is an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. A former Detroit Public Schools teacher, Thomas’s program of research is most keenly focused on children’s and adolescent literature, the teaching of African American literature, and the role of race in English language arts classroom discourse and interaction. She is a 2014 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow and recipient of the 2014 American Education Research Association’s Language and Social Processes SIG Emerging Scholar Award. Her forthcoming book is The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination in Youth Literature, Media, and Culture.

    Amy Stornaiuolo is an assistant professor of literacy and education at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research examines adolescents’ multimodal composing practices, teachers’ educational uses of digital technologies, and relationships between authors and audiences in online, networked spaces. She has received a number of awards for her research on composing in new media contexts, including the Promising Researcher Award from the National Council of Teachers of English, the Elva Knight award from the International Reading Association, and the Steve Cahir Early Career Award from the Writing and Literacies SIG at the American Educational Research Association. Stornaiuolo is the coeditor with Kathy Mills, Anna Smith, and Jessica Zacher Pandya of the forthcoming Handbook of Writing, Literacies, and Education in Digital Cultures (Routledge, 2017).
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    Fall 2016 Issue

    Abstracts

    Restorying the Self
    Bending Toward Textual Justice
    EBONY ELIZABETH THOMAS AND AMY STORNAIUOLO
    The Double Bind for Women
    Exploring the Gendered Nature of Turnaround Leadership in a Principal Preparation Program
    JENNIE MILES WEINER AND LAURA J. BURTON
    Cross-Pollinating Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy and Universal Design for Learning
    Toward an Inclusive Pedagogy That Accounts for Dis/Ability
    FEDERICO R. WAITOLLER AND KATHLEEN A. KING THORIUS
    After the Gold Rush
    Questioning the “Gold Standard” and Reappraising the Status of Experiment and Randomized Controlled Trials in Education
    GARY THOMAS
    Social Red Bull
    Exploring Energy Relationships in a School District Leadership Team
    ALAN J. DALY, YI-HWA LIOU, AND CHRIS BROWN
    Editor's Review
    REBECCA BLAZAR LEBOWITZ

    Book Notes

    Tell Me So I Can Hear You
    Eleanor Drago-Severson and Jessica Blum-DeStefano

    Miseducation
    By A. J. Angulo